The Auto Trader expert verdict:
The Maserati Quattroporte S may not be as accomplished as other luxury saloons but it offers an elegant and statesmanlike air that few others can approach.
Reasons to buy:
- Elegant but sporty looks
- Wonderful V8 engine
- Plenty of cabin space
How good does it look?
The Maserati Quattroporte is another design masterpiece by Pininfarina, conveying both elegance and muscular sportiness. The concave grille, with its distinctive trident badge, harks back to classic Maseratis, as do the three port holes behind each of the front wheels. Viewed from the rear, the creases running from the tail lights to the back wheels serve to break up what would otherwise be a characterless plain of metal. They marry with the tall haunches over the rear wheels, disguising the width of the car. The Quattroporte is a truly impressive creation.
What's the interior like?
The interior may be splendid but it’s not quite at the same high standard as the magnificent exterior. There are a few too many unsightly buttons for a car costing the best part of £100,000, and the sat-nav is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. But these are minor blemishes. The seats are sumptuous yet supportive and rear passengers are chauffeured in the utmost comfort.
How practical is it?
It’s got four doors, five seats and a 450-litre boot – not many cars with supercar performance can offer that. There are no compromises made on interior comfort – the rear seats can accommodate adult passengers quite comfortably.
What's it like to drive?
With the V8 lump behind the front axle and weight distributed 49%-51% front-to-rear, the Quattroporte handles surprisingly sweetly for a car of such size. The Skyhook suspension adapts to the how the car is being driven. Brake firmly and the front of the car tenses up to stop the nose diving – accelerate hard and the rear suspension does the same to keep the car from squatting. The Quattroporte S offers two driving modes. ‘Standard’ mutes all but the harshest surfaces. However, the car feels slightly uneasy when changing direction at speed. The ‘Sport’ setting is more comfortable for motorway driving.
How powerful is it?
The red engine cover marks this out as a 4.7-litre Quattroporte – the 4.2-litre version has a blue cover. In ‘Sport’ mode valves in the exhaust open to let gases exit more quickly, increasing total power to 424bhp, and letting the raucous engine scream even louder. The 0-62mph sprint takes just 5.4 seconds. The brakes are suitably beefy, and can haul the near-two-tonne car to a halt from 62mph in 114 feet (35 metres). They showed little signs of fading during vigorous runs, too. The six-speed ZF automatic transmission has been updated and now operates much more smoothly than before.
How much will it cost me?
Fuel economy is not its strong suit. Maserati’s quoted fuel consumption figure for the Quattroporte S is just 18mpg. Inevitably a car with such a large price tag isn’t going to hold onto its value too well. At the time of writing three-year-old Quattroportes on Auto Trader are on sale at around £35,000.
How reliable is it?
The car has been on sale for five years and the most significant recall occurred in 2007, when 90 of the earlier cars had to have the ECUs fixed. All Quattroportes come with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty and service packages covering the first three years or 30,000 miles.
How safe is it?
The Quattroporte’s electronic driver aids include stability control, traction control, anti-lock braking, electronic brake force distribution and engine torque control. It has airbags for the driver and passenger, one for each of the four side windows and two further front side airbags. However some of its rivals are beginning to offer other accident mitigation systems such as lane departure warnings and pre-crash preparations.
How much equipment do I get?
The standard equipment provided on a Quattroporte is extensive and includes electric door and boot opening, a 30GB hard disk entertainment system with sat-nav and a refrigeration compartment in the front arm rest. And with an options list including pearlescent paint, rear-seat entertainment screens and tinted rear windows, a fully-appointed Quattroporte will reach into six-figure territory. But it is lacking some of the cutting-edge features offered by premium-market rivals from BMW and Audi – such as a head-up display for the driver and rear-view cameras to assist in reversing.
The sound the engine makes is almost worth the asking price on its own – press hard on the accelerator and the engine bellows in approval. It may be whisper-quiet at low speeds but gun the V8 hard and its roar is intoxicating.